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Modernist Design: The Latest Architecture and News

How to Photograph Architecture with a 35mm Camera

Capturing an image has become spontaneous and immediate. While mobile photography maintains quality, it loses the ritual of taking a picture, i.e. thinking about an image while walking through a new city or the framing possibilities for a building from your point of view. In short, each image is the result of focus, aperture, exposure and the characteristics of the space. Travelling with a 35mm camera sets your limits, some say it is the closest lens to the human eye, others say it is too narrow to capture a building from the outside, but no doubt it all depends on your judgement and the capabilities of the equipment at your disposal.

The House on the River: Restoration after Eight Decades of Attacks

It was designed and built between 1943 and 1946 by Amancio Williams and Delfina Galvez Bunge over the Las Chacras Stream in the city of Mar del Plata. It eventually became known as "The House on the River" or "The Bridge House". However, it ceased to have a stream, and thus to be a bridge, in 1957 when the watercourse on which it rested was interrupted for sanitation reasons. It was used as a radio station between 1970 and 1977, but the last military dictatorship in Argentina ended up shutting it down. It remained closed, maintained by its owner until their death in 1991. Studied by all, but cared for by none. It suffered two major fires, in 2004 and 2008. Abandoned during the whole succession process, it was recovered by the Municipality of General Pueyrredón in 2012.

Carmen Portinho and the Vanguard of Modernism in Brazil

In the early 1920s, a time when women could not even work without their husband's authorization, Carmen Portinho started an engineering course at the Polytechnic School of the University of Brazil. At the vanguard of the profession, as one of the first three women to graduate as engineers in Brazil, she was opening up a field in a space dominated entirely by men.

Texas Design: Austin's Modernist Homes and Lakehouses

Few cities have a growing design culture like Austin, Texas. Ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States, the city is experiencing a building boom in recent years. With a wide variety of residential styles, architects are continuing a legacy of modernist design. With an emphasis on craft and detailing, these new homes use simple geometry and forms as they open up to hills, lakes and the urban fabric.

© Casey Dunn© Casey Dunn© Brian Mihealsick© Casey Dunn+ 11

Oriol Bohigas, the Modernist Architect and Urbanist from Barcelona, Died at 95

On the 30th of November, we received news of the death of Oriol Bohigas Guardiola (Barcelona, 1925), architect, urbanist, and one of the main drivers of Catalan's modern transformation.

Collection of Lucio Costa Donated to Casa da Arquitectura in Portugal

After receiving Paulo Mendes da Rocha's complete collection in 2020, Casa da Arquitectura - Portuguese Center for Architecture, based in the city of Matosinhos, has just received Lucio Costa's estate. The donation was made by the family of the Brazilian architect and urban planner and includes about eleven thousand documents produced between 1910 and 1998.

From Festivals to Schools, Cathedrals, and Bomb Sites: The Story of Mid-Century Modernism in Britain

The term “mid-century modern” conjures up images of a sharp-suited Don Draper, slender teak cabinets, and suave chairs from Scandinavia. That is, at least, one perspective of the design movement and a view more of 1950s-era Manhattan offices than anything else. But in Britain, mid-century modernism manifested as something slightly different, coming in the form of schools, cathedrals, housing, and an era-defining festival, all eloquently described and illustrated by the prolific architectural historian Elain Harwood in Mid-Century Britain: Modern Architecture 1938-1963.

Erasing Walls: Ceramic Tile Murals in Brazilian Modernism

"I felt like I was Nino Rota and Oscar Niemeyer was Fellini, it was like I was creating an important piece of music in that work of art." Renowned visual artist Athos Bulcão uses this comparison between the Italian composer and the film director to refer to the relationship between his work with ceramic tiles and architecture. This fusion between art and architecture marked an important period in the history of Brazil, shedding light on issues such as national identity, the massification of art, and architectural techniques aimed at the tropical climate.

Clássicos da Arquitetura: Ministério de Educação e Saúde / Lucio Costa e equipe. © Marina de HolandaClássicos da Arquitetura: Igrejinha Nossa Senhora de Fátima / Oscar Niemeyer. © Marcel Gautherot. Via Blog do Instituto Moreira SallesClássicos da Arquitetura: Igreja da Pampulha / Oscar NiemeyerClássicos da Arquitetura: Igrejinha Nossa Senhora de Fátima / Oscar Niemeyer. © Marcel Gautherot+ 13

The Close Relationship Between Art and Architecture in Modernism

The idea of integration between art and architecture dates back to the very origin of the discipline, however, it took on a new meaning and social purpose during the Avant-Garde movement of the early twentieth century, becoming one of the most defining characteristics of Modernism. This close relationship is evident in the works of some of the greatest modern architects, such as Mies van der Rohe, Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer, to name a few.

Palácio da Alvorada through the eyes of Joana França. © Joana FrançaAD Classics: Ministry of Education and Health Building / Lucio Costa e equipe. © Marina de HolandaGardens of the Gustavo Capanema Palace. © Flickr jcoarq. Used under Creative CommonsPhotographer Yueqi “Jazzy” Li Captures the Dynamism of Mexico City's UNAM Campus. © Yueqi "Jazzy" Li+ 8

Oscar Niemeyer's Itamaraty Palace Captured by Paul Clemence

In celebration of Oscar Niemeyer's birthday, on December 15, and to honor the work of one of the greatest modernists of the 20th century, American-Brazilian photo-artist Paul Clemence has released images of the architect’s iconic Itamaraty Palace. Housing Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Headquarters, the structure is also known as the Palace of the Arches.

© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence© Paul Clemence+ 26

The Pursuit of an Identity for Angolan Architecture: Interview with Grupo BANGA

Investing in virtual projects has probably never been more timely, after all, we have been partially deprived of contact with the concrete world. Exploring the singularities of the present moment and the power of online engagement, a group of architects from Angola started an ambitious work: pursuing a new identity for Angolan architecture.

Formed by Yolana Lemos, Kátia Mendes, Mamona Duca, Elsimar de Freitas, and Gilson Menses, Grupo BANGA is responsible for the project Cabana de Arte (Art Hut), which combines the efforts of young architects and artists from Angola in virtual works that seek to bring visibility to emerging professionals and bring architecture closer to people's daily lives.

Projeto arquitetônico virtual para a exposição "Tchitundu-Hulu, a história resgatada". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAPlanta do projeto para a exposição "Mfwanana, Dialetos da Terra". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAProjeto arquitetônico virtual para a exposição "Eu sou o sol - as marcas perpetuadas em mim". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGAProjeto investigativo "O Soba tem algo para dizer / O Soba vai à comunidade". Image Cortesia de Grupo BANGA+ 8

The 5 Points of Modern Architecture in Contemporary Projects

In 1926, Le Corbusier developed the five points that would become the foundations for modern architecture. Once materialized in 1929 in the iconic Villa Savoye project, Le Corbusier's principles - pilotis, free design of the ground plan, free design of the facade, horizontal window, and roof garden - have been extensively explored in modern architecture and continue to influence the most diverse contemporary architectural projects to this day.

The five points became a kind of guideline for the New Architecture, as Corbusier used to call it. Even after decades, new technologies, materials, and demands of society have continued to update those architectural solutions, announced almost a century ago as the basis for a new architecture.

Unisociesc Block H / Metroquadrado. Image: © Pablo TeixeiraTorreão House / BLOCO Arquitetos. Image: © Haruo MikamiÁgora Tech Park / Estúdio Módulo. Image: © Nelson KonGarden House / Hayhurst and Co. Image: © Kilian O'Sulivan+ 41

Modernist and Post-Modernist Architecture Through the Lens of Skyler Dahan

Modern architecture emerged during the late 19th - early 20th century to break away from historical styles and create structures based on functionality and novelty. Regardless of the style's prominence, post-modernist architecture emerged a few decades later as a reaction to modernism's uniformity and formality, adding complexity, asymmetry, and color into architecture.

During a recent trip to Europe, Los Angeles-based photographer Skyler Dahan put together a photo-series of the two architecture styles, shooting Aldo Rossi and Carlo Aymonino’s Gallaratese Housing II, along with other modernist and post-modernist buildings across Milan, Brittany, and Oslo.

Gallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler DahanGallaratese Housing II . Image © Skyler Dahan© Skyler Dahan© Skyler Dahan+ 16

Oscar Niemeyer's Rachid Karami Exposition Site Crumbling after Years of Neglect

Lebanon is home to several outstanding structures, influenced by centuries of architectural styles. However, one of the most intriguing projects in the Middle Eastern country lies in the northern city of Tripoli, a culturally-rich historical city with structures once inhabited by Romans, Crusaders, Phoenicians, and Ottomans. The Rachid Karami International Exhibition Center, designed by Oscar Niemeyer, reflects the slow deterioration from Lebanon’s pre-war golden age to post-war depression. The country's iconic modernist site has suffered after years of neglect and reportedly will require upwards of 15 million dollars to restore.

© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi© Dima Stouhi+ 15